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Coal Versus Biomass Electricity Generation - Comparing Environmental Implications Using Life Cycle Assessment

 Pamela L. Spath, Margaret K. Mann
  2nd-Oct-2017
Description: A life cycle assessment (LCA) on coal-fired power systems has been conducted to assess the environmental effects on a cradle-to-grave basis. Three different designs were studied: 1) a plant that represents the average emissions from coal-fired power plants in the U.S. today, 2) a plant that meets the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), and 3) an advanced plant incorporating a low-emission boiler system (LEBS). The boundaries of the analysis include all material and energy streams from the following three subsystems: coal mining, transportation, and electricity generation. Upstream processes required for the operation of these main subsystems were also included. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to minimize the risk of imperfect data, to account for variations in data, and to cover alternate processing steps/routes. Ultimately, the resulting emissions, resource consumption, and energy requirements are compared to the results of the recently completed LCA for a biomass gasification combined-cycle power system. This allows us to quantify the environmental benefits and drawbacks of biomass power compared to the option that currently makes up the lions share of generation technology in the U.S. today.
Views: 1811
Domain: Energy
Category: Biomass
Contributing Organization: The Bioenergy KDF
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SEMICONDUCTOR ANALYTICS
Contents:
COAL VERSUS BIOMASS ELECTRICITY GENERATION - COMPARING
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS USING LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT
Pamela L. Spath
Margaret K. Mann
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
1617 Cole Blvd.
Golden, CO U.S.A. 80401
ABSTRACT
A life cycle assessment (LCA) on coal-fired power systems has been conducted to assess the
environmental effects on a cradle-to-grave basis. Three different designs were s ... See more

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